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JoAnna Lou
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Legally Reducing Dog Attacks
Britain proposes mandatory microchips and liability insurance

Earlier this month, the British government announced a proposal that would require people to buy microchips and liability insurance for their pups. With dog attack lawsuits on the rise, the British government hopes that microchips will help match dangerous dogs to the people responsible for them and that insurance will ensure that victims can be compensated.

People who oppose the new proposal say that the requirement would be the equivalent of a “dog tax,” punishing responsible pet lovers and reducing the number of families for homeless pups. Others are worried about breed discrimination, with insurance premiums skyrocketing for bully breeds.

I’m all for mandatory microchipping, since it’s relatively inexpensive and helps bring lost pets home, but liability insurance can get pricey, particularly for those with multiple dogs. I’d hate to think that responsible pet lovers would be forced to cut back on other expenses, like buying quality food, to afford monthly insurance premiums. 

Microchips and insurance may make it easier to identify irresponsible people, but it’s misguided to think it’s going to reduce the danger of aggressive dogs. That can only be achieved through education.

What do you think about mandatory microchipping and liability insurance?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Thumbnail image: iStockphoto.

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Submitted by Rex | March 30 2010 |

I'm totally opposed to mandatory micrcochips. It's one more step toward controlling and tracking the person on the other end of the leash, and the first step in the collapse of free societies. This is just the test round before they microchip us. Arrrgh.

Submitted by Jell | March 30 2010 |

@Rex: you are kidding right? if your dog ever gets lost, it will be both your loss & your dog's... do you want him to end up in a shelter & after a few days he will be euthanized coz you cant find him anymore without the microchip that would suppose to help you with?

Submitted by Rex | March 30 2010 |

Jell, My dog is microchipped for precisely the reason you suggest. I just don't think it should be mandatory. As for worrying about the human app--I'm not alone. See SpyChips. http://www.spychips.com/
Also, there may be some evidence that chips are linked to cancer in dogs. http://www.antichips.com/ I'm just sayin' there's more to chips than meets the eye.

Submitted by Maura | March 31 2010 |

The problem is that all the good pet owners will microchip like the law requires while all the not responsible pet owns won't anyways so they will still have the problem. It's the same with registering your dog with the county you live in... it's required but how many people really do it?

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